Friday, January 10, 2014

Former UConn OL Jimmy Bennett set for Medal of Honor Bowl

It's been a long road to get to this point for former UConn offensive lineman Jimmy Bennett but tomorrow at 2 p.m. he can take a major step towards helping his draft status when he suits up for the Medal of Honor Bowl being played in Charleston, S.C.

Bennett started the last 24 games at left tackle for UConn and was in Storrs for six seasons due to a series of injuries. He will wear No. 77 and play for the National Team which is being coached by former NFL head coach Chan Gailey. Don't believe the game is on television up here but according to the game's official site, a radio broadcast is available on Sports Radio 1450 AM

On Wednesday I got UConn offensive line coach Mike Foley's take on Bennett's appearance in the game and his pro prospects.

"I think it great," Foley said. "I have so much respect for Jimmy, here is a guy who came in and was probably the most highly recruited lineman we’ve had since I was here. He was going to start as a redshirt freshman and blows his knee out, misses that whole year. He comes back, gets back into the next year and he is going to start, breaks his thumb in pre-game warm-ups. They cast it up, he is ready to go and on the 25th play gets the other knee. A year later, he gets back, he is still getting through it and is still rehabbing, we get him back on the field and on a Thursday practice he turned and hurt his knee again. It was one thing after another and in the last two years he was able to stay relatively healthy but he couldn’t lift through the (2012) season and had the operation at the end. This is the first year he made it through completely healthy clean and not getting hurt. It says a lot about him and his character to do that. I am real excited for him and see how he does."

Bennett and fellow former UConn offensive lineman Steve Greene is among a group of prospects working out in the Pittsburgh area with the hopes of improving their draft status. Although I haven't heard of Greene being invited to an all-star game yet, Foley thinks he could get a look from the pro scouts.

"I think people are looking at him, he will get a good look," Foley said. "You never know, same with Kevin a lot of people were looking at Kevin after his junior year and he had two concussions, an ankle sprain but all three of those kids are great kids."

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